The US and China are clashing over Beijing's increasing defense expenditures, its posture toward Taiwan and its threat to US space hardware, reports the BBC. Beijing officials say they plan to up defense spending by 18% to $59 billion—but a Pentagon report claims the true amount of Chinese military spending is at least twice that.
China responded pointedly to the Pentagon assessment, with officials calling it a "serious distortion" of facts. "China's limited military capability is solely for the purpose of safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and does not pose a threat to any other country," the foreign ministry said in a statement. "The US should drop its Cold War mentality."